There’s no denying it , the Los Angeles Angels are not prepared to go down without a fight , against the New York Yankees , in the ALCS .Seemingly, in an improbable position and 3-1 down in the best of the seven game series. The Angels were able to salvage their season somehow and came back to win last night’s game in defeating the Yankees 7-6 in game 5. It was a tremendous effort by both teams and in many it ways it has come to define this whole series. As neither team could really gain the upper hand and build on the momentum attained.
Now the series will return to the ‘Big Apple’ where the Yankees will look to close out the series once and for all. They can ill afford to allow the Angels to believe that this series now becomes theirs for the taking. And though I don’t believe it is beyond them win this series outright. At this juncture I do still believe that this series is still New York’s for the taking. The question that the players on the team and Joe Girardi have to ask themselves – ” …..is do we really want this ” ? If not , then they might as well just fold up their tents, pack their bags and head on home to their palatial abodes. Never-mind the fact, as to what the New York fans and media might think, were they to allow the Angels back into the series and win it outright. They would become the scapegoats and the cannon fodder for the media in the city for the next few months , right up until the resumption of spring training ,next season. That’s the dilemma that would be facing the New York Yankees.
And for the Los Angeles Angels and their undoubted loyal throng of fans. They may well now see this as their chance to get that proverbial monkey off their back , with regard to the Yankees’ dominance over them in recent years . And that’s not just with regards to the postseason but also the regular season as well. A return to the World Series at the expense of the Yankees would be quite an achievement for this team , after what has taken place internally with the organization. The loss of pitcher, Nick Adenhart would’ve decimated the resolve of most teams and led them to seemingly regress as a playing unit.. But for this Angels’ team and their manager, Mike Sciocsia , that wasn’t to be the case. They regrouped and they have played some outstanding baseball after Adenhart’s untimely demise.
Now this series , really has become a series of note , with more than a great deal to play for. Two games to play and just a single win is all that is needed by the Yankees. The Angels will no doubt be determined to take game 6 and even the series at three games apiece. And then look to take game 7 decisively , resulting in knocking off the Yankees in postseason play and thereby ending their postseason ambitions. If the Los Angeles Angels were able to somehow achieve that feat , then the nightmare that was bestowed upon the Yankees by the Boston Red Sox in 2004 would be akin to not only being deja vu , in so many ways. But the mere thought of this Yankees’ team built in large part , from highly paid All Stars , would be deemed the worst nightmare scenario possible for the organization. To have it happen once , would be one thing. But twice ? Well suffice to say , the aftermath would speak for itself. The well versed fans in New York wouldn’t take so kindly to the team and in all probability they would be dumping on individual players. And I would not put it past them to question the birthright of several of those players and no doubt , Joe Girardi, himself. New York sports’ fans aren’t averse to being vocal at all and showing their displeasure against their teams, given the right set of circumstances. So it should prove to be no different for the players of the New York Yankees. And that is despite the organization’s unprecedented success over the years.
Now we can all contend that the Yankees may well be favored to close out the series , once and for all. And I’m still of the belief that they can and will do it. But if I have any doubts now . It is merely because of the indecisiveness that’s now being shown by Yankees’ manager ,Joe Girardi. He, much like the St Louis Cardinals‘ Tony La Russa , can be a pain in the ass ! Now don’t get me wrong as both are undoubtedly talented managers. But there also comes a time when indecisiveness can be a detriment to a team. La Russa essentially through his own indecisiveness allowed the Los Angeles Dodgers to essentially beat the crap out of the Cardinals in the NLDS. By not adjusting to the changes being made by his opposite number , Joe Torre . He played into the hands of the Dodgers , in allowing them to walk Albert Pujols almost ‘at will’ throughout much of the divisional series. Not once, was he inclined to change his strategy. And now this ‘buffoon’ is pondering whether or not to return to the team next year ? The complaint against Girardi , has been his micromanaging and tinkering around with his bullpen and starting pitchers for some inexplicable reason. Should he continue to do that , then it could very well lead to his team’s demise and with being booed out of town. Like I said , the fans in New York aren’t always that forgiving of their teams , managers and owners, as the case maybe. But then again, that’s the same within the realms of sports , the whole world over. And who’s about to deny that as being a fact ? Not you or I , one would hope ?
Courtesy of Yahoo Sports and New York Daily News :
By Jessie Spector , NY Daily News Sports Writer
The Yankees will come home Saturday still leading the ALCS, 3-2, still one win away from returning to the World Series for the first time since 2003, still with Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia lined up to pitch them there.
But let’s get this out of the way now, so it’s not a reactionary thing if the Yankees lose their sixth and seventh consecutive games with the American League pennant within their grasp: So this is not to say that the Yankees will lose this ALCS, but if they do, Joe Girardi should be fired.
It’s harsh, yes, and it’s not easy to fire a manager coming off a 103-win season, but the burden of a collapse in this series would fall squarely on Girardi, who has made decisions in both losses that are indefensible. In both Games 3 and 5 in Anaheim, Girardi’s management of the Yankees’ pitching staff left fans saying to themselves, “What the hell is he thinking?” And that was before Alfredo Aceves coughed up Game 3, and before A.J. Burnett let the tying runs get on base in Game 5. From the time that Aceves came in, and from the time that Burnett stayed in after a long top of the frame, Girardi’s decisions had “mistake” written all over them. Both proved catastrophic.
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Whilst this is all being played out , the Philadelphia Phillies as winners of the National League pennant , awaits the winner. And as defending World Series’ champions they’re out to prove that they’ve got what it takes to successfully defend their title.
Chances are , the hierarchy of MLB are hoping that it will be the New York Yankees. It’s what they’d no doubt like to see , merely because of the fact the sport of baseball needs the Yankees more than they’re willing to let on. A series without the ‘Evil Empire ‘ as participants and for almost everyone to root against. Well it’s like having a crime thriller without the villain of the piece to root against – with just the hero there , forever taking up the screen.
Truth be told, I want the Yankees in this World Series ! As to whether or not I’m rooting for them to win it all. Well , unfortunately I won’t be divulging that piece of information at this particular moment in time. Suffice to say, I’m no Yankees’ lover or hater. I just essentially love sports , that’s all ! So I’ll leave you with this thought , if the Yankees were to win the World Series . Would it be a ‘good’ or ‘bad thing’ for the sport of baseball ?